About Product Placement
Too often products are dismissed as just something there to be consumed. Their amazing back-stories—the inspiration, intent, material choices, alterations, and lessons learned—remain known only to a select few. Product Placement, a blog and series of live events, aims to change that.
The Product Placement blog captures the moment in product design, concentrating on goods and their creators. The live events, held quarterly, focus on how and why items came to be, getting practitioners and fans alike to delve into and discuss the design process.
Each Product Placement installment is oriented around a theme, and features multiple designers from a range of fields. Each practitioner gives a five-minute talk about one of his or her products, touching on its development and the inspirations behind it—anything from a picture, a slide, or a physical prototype to a fabric’s texture, a piece of music, or a smell. After each presentation, audience members have a few minutes to ask questions. Participating designers have included Happy Chic purveyor and Top Design judge Jonathan Adler, lighting and furnishings maestros David Weeks and Jason Miller, product and interior talent Harry Allen, textile provocateur Suzanne Tick, eco-designers Mio, jewelry talent Kiel Mead, ceramic artists KleinReid, Bocci honcho Omer Arbel, Rockwell Group studio head Barry Richards, biomechanics explorer Anna Rabinowicz /RabLabs, rugmaker Amy Helfand, crafty post-moderists Cmmnwlth, and fashion designer Tom Scott. Retail partners have ranged from Design Within Reach to Rockwell Group to Designtex.
Product Placement was founded in 2008 by Kimberly Oliver and Julie Taraska. Contact them at email@example.com.
Kimberly Oliver works with emerging and established designers and retailers to raise awareness of their businesses. She has been in the design industry since the early 1990s, when a job at an architecture firm led to a marketing role for a Herman Miller dealer—which in turn sparked a lifelong love affair with the work of Charles and Ray Eames. In 2002, Kimberly helped launch Vitra’s New York retail presence. She then joined Design Within Reach, eventually rising to oversee the company’s public relations efforts. In 2009, she founded the New York office for Camron, the London-based design and lifestyle PR firm. While running her own boutique marketing/PR consultancy, American Success Machinery, she publicized and produced ICFF offsites Joint Venture, Living Spaces, and Firstop: Williamsburg Public. An experienced curator, Kimberly also was a founder of the pioneering sustainable-design exhibit HauteGREEN. Currently, she is exploring the world of tabletop and kitchen as a buyer for design retailer Fab.com. Kimberly was born and raised in rural Maine, and holds a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College. She lives in New York.
A journalist that specializes in editorial strategy, multimedia content, and social-media development, Julie Taraska can thank the Sex Pistols for her career. Indeed: It was after winning a fellowship to study British punk that she moved to London and began writing professionally. Products, emerging talents, and design in all its forms get her jazzed, topics she covers for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Fast Company, and Details, among others. Julie recently stepped down as the founding editor of Gilt Home, the furnishings and lifestyle arm of e-retailer juggernaut Gilt Groupe. Previous gigs included senior positions at Metropolis, where she developed the company’s Web site into a standalone publication, and Home, where she made green design palatable to a mass audience. She holds an M.A. in Culture, Globalization, and the City from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a B.A. in European Cultural History from Connecticut College. She lives in New York.